Microsoft, Lindows End Trademark Spat
Microsoft and Lindows.com jointly announced that they have reached a worldwide settlement that closes the books on the longstanding trademark infringement case between the two companies.
The exact terms of the settlement remain confidential, but a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing revealed that Microsoft paid twenty million USD for the Lindows domain. Lindows will continue its migration to the "Linspire" brand name, while Microsoft preserves its longstanding claim to the "Windows" trademark.
In an entry posted to his Michael's Minute Web Blog, Lindows CEO Michael Robertson assured customers that there will be no changes to how Lindows products function or their overall appearance; although, the "Linspire" moniker will trickle down through the entire Lindows product line in every language version.
"We are pleased to resolve this litigation on terms that make business sense for all parties," said Robertson. "Over the next few months Lindows will cease using the term Lindows and transition to Linspire globally as our company name and primary identifier for our operating system product."
The courtroom drama that unfolded over the past two years yielded a potentially striking blow to Microsoft's "Windows" trademark on at least one occasion when U.S. District Judge John Coughenour issued a preliminary ruling stating Lindows.com may continue using the name Lindows.
"Lindows.com has presented sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of validity of the Windows mark," wrote Coughenour.
Microsoft appealed the judge's decision and argued that the name Lindows was confusingly similar to its own trademark.
Following its victory in court, Lindows.com's crusade to debunk Microsoft's claim on "Windows" intensified when it called on the open source community to assist it in its struggle against Redmond.
Today's settlement serves as the final chapter in the case and brings all litigation to an end.